Health fair, Honor Our Legacy Fashion Show successful

The 2021 Honor Our Legacy Fashion Show was held at Northern Winz Hotel and Casino

The 2021 Honor Our Legacy Fashion Show was held at Northern Winz Hotel and Casino Friday, featuring the work of Native American fashion designers and artists.

The show featured models displaying clothes designed by Elias Not Afraid, JG Indie, and Sage Mountainflower, all well-known Native American fashion designers who attended the event.

The show held raffles, played music and was generally meant to be an upbeat affair, but it was not without solemn moments as well with Master of Ceremonies Russell Standing Rock leading a prayer.

He said it’s been a tough year for Rocky Boy as a community and for himself and he’s glad to see people back together again, but many in the community are now in mourning for people young and old who have died.

“It’s been a tough year for all of us,” he said.

The show also hosted a musical performance by Native American Hip Hop Artist Nataanii Means, along with special guest Antoine, a well-known figure in the Round Dance community and himself a musical artist.

Means said he makes music about things he saw growing up, his experiences struggling with sobriety, and recently how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected him and the people he knows.

He said he’s had the opportunity to travel all over the country and the world, including to places where people know very little about his people, places where Native Americans are thought about through stereotypes which he’s enjoyed breaking for people.

The show was held in partnership with the Rocky Boy Health Center’s annual Women’s Health Fair which preceded the show, holding raffles of its own. While this is the first time the annual events have been held in conjunction, neither were held last year due to the pandemic.

Rocky Boy Health Center Diabetes Prevention Coordinator Terrie Stump, the fair’s primary organizer, said the fair can help connect women with various organizations and services in the community, providing information and resources for everything from behavioral health to senior care.

Stump said the event has been going on for several years with attendance growing steadily.

She said she suspects that attendance will be down this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but she thinks their partnership with the fashion show will lift people’s spirits.

“This is a night for them to enjoy themselves,” she said.

Before the fashion show started a trio of presenters from the health care community spoke to the crowd about a number of issues that affect women in the community.

Rocky Boy Health Center Health and Wellness Director Jackie Houle encouraged attendees to schedule exams for cervical and breast cancers, which are much easier to fight when detected early.

Houle said the center has staff that can schedule people’s exams and can be reached at 406-395-1655.

She said the state’s Breast and Cervical Health Program can provide exams and services to lower-income people if they need it.

She also talked about the center’s plans to put on an Elders’ Health Fair in the near future and told people to be on the lookout for more information.

Diabetes Program Director Lisa Scheresky O’Neil talked about how taking care of oneself isn’t just good for them, but for everyone around them.

O’Neil said when people hurt themselves by not maintaining their health, it hurts the people around them that rely on them, and the people who care about them and want them to be around and healthy for as long as possible.

She said this is especially true for women, who are often the pillars of their family and caretakers of children.

Nurse Practitioner Tami Ralston also spoke about the importance of vitamins and holistic medicine, which she said should act as a companion to traditional pharmacological medicine, not a replacement.

Organizers for the combined event indicated that it seems to have been a successful partnership, with Stump saying Gaming Commissioner Rebekah Jarvey, who was the primary organizer of the fashion show, has been great to work with, and thanked the many people it took to make the event happen.

Before the event Jarvey, who Northern Winz General Manager Jazz Parker said is becoming more and more well-known in the fashion world herself, said she’s happy to have been able to partner with the health fair and thanked them for their work.

She said she thinks showcasing the work of Native American artists is important and talked about her grandmother’s beadwork, an art she said is becoming less and less common.

She said traditions like this need to be celebrated and protected, which is a motivator for her when it comes to events like this.

Parker thanked Jarvey and Stump for setting everything up and said he hopes for this to be an annual event.

Standing Rock gave thanks to all of them as well as the event’s sponsors TANF, Billy RunningFisher with EagleChild Consulting, Stone Child College Extension, Rocky Boy Wellness Coalition, Tobacco Prevention, Diabetes Prevention and the Diabetes Program.

He also thanked Montana Cree for providing music, and veterans Chauncey Parker and John Gardipee for always providing color guard to events like this.

Jarvey said she thinks the event went really well over all, having stuck to its schedule and drawn in a crowd of around 200 people.

She said they were prepared for up to 300 but 200 was about what she expected, considering how many people are quarantined.

She said she was glad to be able to put on an event like this considering what the community is going through and she thanked Northern Winz for the accommodations to participants.

Jarvey said she thinks the partnership with the health fair was successful and she likes what they brought to the event.